NACHA Debuts Nonprofit Toolkit to Support Sustaining Donor Programs


Research points to opportunity for ACH payments to increase donor retention

NACHA debuted its nonprofit toolkit, designed to help nonprofits grow their sustaining donor programs. The toolkit offers practical tips and resources for leveraging direct withdrawal via ACH – a form of Direct Payment via ACH - to retain donors and sustain contributions. 

The new nonprofit toolkit, available on, consists of four core pieces: 
1.    Case Study – Featuring Capital Public Radio’s “Evergreen” campaign, this case study provides a concrete example of how ACH payments increase donor contributions and retention. The station reports ACH payments are responsible for more than 40 percent of all individual donation dollars, and they retain ACH donors up to 20 percent longer than those using credit cards. 
2.    Checklist – Identifying specific steps, this checklist simplifies the process of establishing a sustaining donor program with ACH. 
3.    Best Practices – Once established, nonprofits can enhance and grow their sustaining donor programs by increasing ACH payments. This document outlines tried-and-true practices that deliver increased sustainer donations for nonprofits. 
4.    Addressing Common Misconceptions – This promotional piece directly addresses and responds to common misconceptions about ACH payments, enabling nonprofits to offer factual responses to donors who may have questions.  

“ACH payments are the gold standard for recurring payments, and nonprofits rely on recurring donations,” said Priscilla Holland, Senior Director, Healthcare & Industry Verticals, NACHA. “We designed the toolkit to help support the set up and promotion of direct withdrawal via ACH for sustaining donor programs that ultimately will help the nonprofits achieve their program goals.” 

Research demonstrates that ACH payments can improve donor retention. According to early findings from a study commissioned by NACHA, donors who give via ACH donate more frequently than those who donate via other means. One major reason is because donors who use direct withdrawal via ACH can set up their donations to continue automatically until canceled by the donor. In addition to giving more often, direct withdrawal via ACH donors give more, donating more than double compared to donors who give via paper check, credit card or other means. 

The research also shows that direct withdrawal via ACH is a payment method donors want to use. Donors cited “familiarity and comfort” and “quick and easy” as the most important factors when choosing their method of payment. Additionally, donors indicated that “the charity receives the donation quickly” and “the method is trustworthy” as additional factors when considering a donation method. 

“Currently 82 percent of U.S. workers receive their pay via ACH – commonly known as Direct Deposit – and consumers pay more than 800 bills each month via ACH,” said Holland “Additionally, ACH payments are fast and easy. They can be set up online just as quickly as any other type of payment, and most payments can be received by an organization the next day. ACH transactions are safe and have the least incidence of fraud compared to other payment types.  Clearly, ACH payments meet the needs and wants of donors.”

The new content launched today adds to other resources available to nonprofits. For more information on ACH payments or to download the nonprofit toolkit, visit